Why Was the Book of Jasher Removed From the Bible?

The Bible is one of the most significant and influential books in the world. It has been translated into numerous languages and has been revered by millions of people throughout history. 

However, not all of the books that were originally included in the Bible made it into the modern-day version. One such book is the Book of Jasher, also known as the Book of the Upright. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why this ancient text was removed from the Bible.

The Origins of the Book of Jasher

The Book of Jasher is an ancient Hebrew text that dates back to the time of Joshua, approximately 1300 BCE. Its authorship is unknown, but it is believed to have been written by a group of scribes who were recording the history of their people. The Book of Jasher is referenced twice in the Bible, in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18, indicating that it was once considered a significant work.

In the centuries following its creation, the Book of Jasher was widely circulated among Jewish communities, and it was even included in some early versions of the Bible. However, by the time the canon of the Bible was established in the fifth century CE, the Book of Jasher had been removed from most versions of the Bible.

The Content of the Book of Jasher

The Book of Jasher contains a history of the world from the creation of Adam and Eve to the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. It also includes details about the lives of the patriarchs, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as the judges and kings of Israel. The book is written in a narrative style, and it includes poems and songs that were sung by the people of Israel.

Despite its historical and cultural significance, the Book of Jasher contains some content that is considered controversial by modern standards. For example, it includes stories of violence and cruelty, such as the tale of a man who kills his wife and children to prove his loyalty to God. Additionally, some scholars have criticized the book’s accuracy, as it includes events that are not mentioned in other historical texts.

The Decision to Remove the Book of Jasher

The reasons for the removal of the Book of Jasher from the Bible are not entirely clear. Some scholars believe that it was removed because of its controversial content, while others suggest that it was due to its questionable accuracy. However, the most commonly cited reason is that the book was excluded because it did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the canon of the Bible.

The criteria for inclusion in the Bible were established by early church leaders, who sought to ensure that only the most authoritative and reliable texts were included. These criteria included the book’s origins, its conformity to orthodox beliefs, and its widespread use among Christian communities. While the Book of Jasher may have met some of these criteria, it did not meet them all, and thus it was omitted from the canon.

The Legacy of the Book of Jasher

Although the Book of Jasher was excluded from the canon of the Bible, it continues to be studied and revered by many people today. Some scholars have even suggested that it may contain valuable insights into the culture and history of ancient Israel. Additionally, the book has inspired countless works of art and literature, including the poem “Paradise Lost” by John Milton.

The Book of Jasher is also significant because it highlights the diversity of religious texts that exist outside of the canon of the Bible. There are many other ancient texts, such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Book of Enoch, that were not included in the Bible but are still considered important by some religious communities.

The Importance of Historical Context

The removal of the Book of Jasher from the Bible serves as a reminder of the importance of historical context in understanding religious texts. The Bible was written over a period of thousands of years by people of different cultures and backgrounds, and it reflects the beliefs and values of those societies. By studying ancient texts like the Book of Jasher, we can gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural context in which the Bible was written.

Conclusion

The Book of Jasher is an ancient Hebrew text that was once included in some versions of the Bible but was later removed. The reasons for its removal are not entirely clear, but it is believed that it did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the canon of the Bible. 

Despite its exclusion, the Book of Jasher remains an important text that provides valuable insights into the history and culture of ancient Israel. By studying this and other ancient religious texts, we can gain a deeper understanding of the context in which the Bible was written and the beliefs and values of the people who created it.